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Second Class

Before departing Irkutsk, we enjoyed a bottle of wine at the hotel and discussed our attitudes toward getting back onto the train in the morning – as second class and all in the same cabin with four bunks.  913 more words


The Russian Ambassador who Overreached: Why Russia’s Approach to Belarus Could Change

The situation in Belarus is very fluid, volatile, and critical to European security.  Belarus may also be key to Russia’s re-establishing “a” Soviet Union lookalike.  1,122 more words


Who Wins in the Competition Between Pluto and Russia?

NASA’s New Horizons zoomed past Pluto in July 2015. It not only captured some stunning pictures of the planet, (Yes, we at Commonplace still hold to the notion that it is, indeed, a planet), but it also took very accurate measurements. 158 more words


Nice and tidy

Pflege nach langen Marsch – Grooming after a long march. It’s 3 August 1941 in Russia, and Operation Barbarossa is in full swing since 22 June. 251 more words

Early War

Rand Corp: how to destroy Russia by Manlio Dinucci

21 May 2019 — Voltaire Network

The conclusions of the latest confidential report by the Rand Corporation were recently made public in a « Brief ». 762 more words


'Disappearing Earth' Follows A Crime In A Remote Russian Peninsula

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is the largest city on the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia, an otherwise desolate area of volcanoes, mountains, and hot springs, dotted with villages of indigenous populations. 456 more words


The Ministry of Presence

Some time back, one individual questioned why I was going to Russia. They said that short-term ministry trips were “a boondoggle.” “They are a waste of time and money. 317 more words